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The Timeliness of George Herbert Mead$
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Hans Joas and Daniel R. Huebner

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226376943

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226377131.001.0001

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George Herbert Mead and the Promise of Pragmatist Democracy

George Herbert Mead and the Promise of Pragmatist Democracy

(p.82) Chapter Four George Herbert Mead and the Promise of Pragmatist Democracy
The Timeliness of George Herbert Mead

Robert Westbrook

University of Chicago Press

Robert Westbrook observes that Mead has remained neglected in the renaissance of interest in John Dewey. However, Westbrook argues, Mead was not merely a friend and colleague who shared Dewey’s views, but one who substantially and productively enlarged them. By focusing on Mead’s 1923 “Scientific Method and the Moral Sciences,” Westbrook argues that Mead pioneered a theory in which inclusive democratic participation incorporated the values of all interested inquirers and in which such inquiry provided more adequate assessments of the consequences of social actions. Hence, Mead developed a defense of democratic inclusiveness against the challenge of so-called realist critics on the basis that inclusion made for “smarter” polities, a defense that is superior even to Dewey’s attempts.

Keywords:   George Herbert Mead, John Dewey, intellectual history, democracy, democratic participation, inclusiveness, political realism

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